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Poll a row of departing tourists at the Honolulu airport and they’re likely to be wondering the same thing: Of all of the places to live, why did I choose New York–or Dallas or Dubuque or wherever–instead of Hawaii?
Google may not open a Waikiki office any time soon, but resort towns offer plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals and people in the hospitality industry. While low-paying service sector jobs are the low-hanging fruit of the resort town job market, doctors, electricians, teachers and other professionals can all earn comfortable salaries in sublime tourist destinations around the world.
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If you’re a mountain lover, turn your passion into a career and live in the shadow of your favorite peak by becoming a professional climbing guide.
Most professional guides lead clients for eight months a year on some of the world’s most spectacular mountains. They make up to $70,000 a year, and their employers cover their expenses while they work. Todd Burleson, president of the guiding company Alpine Ascents International, says that aspiring guides should spend three or four years climbing on their own, learning the ropes through friends or through a school. Once you’ve mastered the basics, apply to train as an apprentice with Alpine Ascents. If you perform well as an apprentice, you’ll move on to work as a guiding assistant on Mount McKinley, and then as a second or third guide on Aconcagua, South America’s highest peak. Burleson evaluates aspiring guides on how well they manage and interact with other people as well as on their mountaineering skills. Good guides can wind up leading clients up Everest. Guiding is a plum job for a unique kind of person: Burleson says that Alpine...